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Old 10-01-2003, 02:10 PM   #61
malaclypse
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Especially since we apparently are talking about two different things. I am not ‘railing against’ the evil of Capitalism here, and you cannot ward me off by trying to paint me out as some sort of Communist.
I never called you a communist. I simply believe your views are biased by a belief that MUDs should be socialist institutions. Read more to see what I'm talking about.

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Both [Twink Muds and Commercial Muds] will lead to exactly the same feelings of frustration and irritation among the players who prefer to play the game in what should be the ‘normal’ way – by achieving these things solely based on their own efforts and skills.
To assume that cheating immortals would be received by the players the same way as a commercial MUD is just ludicrous. Games where the admins cheat are often quickly abandoned by the disenfranchised players. Commercial MUDs don't have this problem. I can only assume its because players don't actually consider the two equal.

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No matter how good a Roleplayer you are, you’ll never reach the peak of your career, if someone already BOUGHT the top position – or the ability to appoint someone to it.
I'll repeat myself once again, Molly. You cannot buy political power in IRE games. This argument is completely irrelevant. If you could buy political power in the game, I'd actually be agreeing with you right now. Matt made a good point earlier, which I had to repeat for you, and now find myself repeating yet again: You cannot sell the point of the game, otherwise you compromise the quality of the game. The things for sale in Achaea are not the point of the game.

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So, with this system, you cater for the masses, not the good players. And since for every really good player there are 10-50 Twinks who’d gladly pay $ for shortcuts, I don’t doubt that the pay-for-advantages system is popular among the majority of the players. But it is popular at the expense of the really good players, who will most likely leave in frustration sooner or later.
Wow, theres a giant leap in logic... so you're defining "good players" as people who can spend all day on the game, regardless of any other quality? I'm assuming thats what you're doing, unless you think it actually requires skill to achieve in your standard free mud? You also go on to define as "twinks" anyone who decides they want to support a commercial mud? Basically what you've done here is insult the players of commercial muds, while praising the people with the patience to type kill goblin for hours on end. And you still try to claim you have nothing against commercial muds?

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But don’t try to sell me the idea that paying $ for in-game advantages in any way makes for a better Game Quality, whether the main theme of the Mud is Hack’n’slash, Pkill, Exploring, Questing or Roleplaying.
Why not? I've always considered it possible to make a far greater game with a few thousand dollars than with no money at all.

And I still maintain that its more fair to offer in-game achievement in exchange for multiple OOC commodities rather than just one. I like the fact that if I have all the time in the world, I can log onto Achaea and earn credits by spending my time enriching the community... or if I don't have time because I'm working all day, I can spend $10 and get the same credits.

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This is actually one of the few advantages ‘Free’ Muds still have over the P2P. We don’t have to worry about profit. It doesn’t really matter to us if we have 20 players or 500 at peak time, so we can stay true to our vision. So if  ‘making muds that lots of players like’ is the goal of a commercial Mud owner, ‘making a quality game that attracts good players’ might be one of the goals for a free Mud owner.
I agree with the first part of this statement, that you have more freedom as a free mud owner. There are lots of things designers like to do that players hate, and in a commercial setting you have to steer clear of those. But the end of your statement is once again filled with charged words. It is the goal of both types of MUDs to "make a quality game that attracts good players", its just that free muds can be more selective in their definition of "good players". Both, I should hope, would keep quality as a goal.

- Ryan
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Old 10-01-2003, 02:30 PM   #62
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[quote=Molly O'Hara,Oct. 01 2003,12:18]:
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There is a certain type of Twink Mud, which I am pretty sure all serious Admin – (including Malaclypse and the_logos) would agree is a particularly bad sort. It’s the Mud with cheating Imms/Imps. You know, the type where the Staff members create ‘special’ weapons and equipment for their own mortal and those of their friends, leaving everybody else at a permanent disadvantage.

Now compare this Twink Mud to the practical effects of selling in-game benefits for RL money.
That's not a very apt comparison.  Players go into commercial muds with a fairly good sense of what it is their money will buy them, whether it is simply the right to play the game, or whether it is the ability to purchase various in-game perks.  Such players shouldn't really feel put out when other players purchase such perks, as they've made the choice to play a mud built around a model that allows this to be done.  Players on a twink mud, however, usually have every right to be aggreived because twink muds are usually not in the habit of advertising the fact that they hand out perks to their favored players, nor do many even choose to admit that they do so when they are called out for it.

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Both will lead to exactly the same feelings of frustration and irritation among the players who prefer to play the game in what should be the ‘normal’ way – by achieving these things solely based on their own efforts and skills.
What is it about a player spending some money to acquire skills/gear a bit more easily or quickly that makes it any worse than a player with no life being able to acquire more skills/gear in a shorter time than those of us with jobs and families?  After all, on most muds, players with oodles of time on their hands will generally have a significant advantage over those with little time on their hands, regardless of these players' respective playing skills.  If you play 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I only play 15 hours a week, it won't matter how good my playing ability is -- on most muds I won't be able to keep up with you in any meaningful way (at least as far as skills and gear and other likely purchaseable perks would go).

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If what you buy is an unusually good weapon, equipment, certain skills/spells or even the ability to rest/sleep (as I’ve seen in another Mud that uses a similar system) it obviously gives the purchaser advantages in a combat situation.
Well, it wouldn't make much sense to pay money for something that decreased your combat abilities.  I don't really see how this is a negative.  Whether players opt to purchase some advantages or not, they know what the deal is.  If they don't like it, then that mud isn't for them and they should probably go somewhere else.  If they don't mind it, there's not a problem.

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So, with this system, you cater for the masses, not the good players.
But, it would seem to mostly be the commercial muds with straight subscription schemes (Gemstone, et al) that really cater to the masses.  And, while I am certain that a game like Achaea would like to bring in as many players as possible, it still seems to be a rather exemplary mud (and, no, I am not a player there) that doesn't appear to be cutting corners on quality and imagination just to cater to the lowest common denominator.  I'm not really sure what qualifies as a 'good player', but it would seem odd that such a definition would exclude players solely on the basis that they might choose to spend a little more money and a little less time on improving their characters in some way.

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This is actually one of the few advantages ‘Free’ Muds still have over the P2P. We don’t have to worry about profit.
Absolutely.  And not having to worry about profits will be liberating to some mud owners and will allow them to pursue their hobby in potentially rewarding ways that they might not have considered had they been more concerned about the bottom line (then again, people who sacrifice vision for preconceived notions of what sells, probably shouldn't be trying to make money on creative endeavors anyways).  On the other hand, it also creates its own set of worries.  A free mud may not have to worry about profits, but it still has to worry about costs.  It has to worry about finding coders and builders who are creative and mature and able to set aside sufficient time for something which isn't going to put any food on the table (that's the real bitch about hobbies -- when you have the time for them, you usually don't have the money; once you get to the point where you have the money, you generally no longer have the time.)

Edited to fix a bunged-up quote.
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Old 10-01-2003, 02:36 PM   #63
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First, for whatever it is worth, let me qualify my response by disclosing that I am associated with Iron Realms so my views are somewhat biased.

In any event, the business model of Iron Realms has always impressed me as being not only commercially successful but fair to players as well as providing an enriching gaming experience. The crux of the business model is that it costs nothing to play but players do have the option of buying credits for in-game benefits. I understand the argument against this model boils down to the benefits that players receive for credits skew the game play itself. While this may seem meritorious on its surface, having been involved in Achaea (the Iron Realms' flagship MUD) since its inception, from mortal to admin, I have reached a different conclusion and hope to address what I see as myths that seem to perpetuate on these boards.

MYTH: Players must purchase credits to fully play the game.
REALITY: This is downright false. The world is fully open to those who choose never to purchase credits. One of the aspects of the business model that I think is rather financially egalitarian is that a player can never purchase credits, or purchase credits at the rate he or she can afford (be it $10 per month or $10 per year). In a nutshell, players can decide for themselves what the game is worth and invest in their character accordingly at the rate of their own choosing. Personally, this appeals to me as opposed to subscriptions where one must pay per month. Perhaps I can afford something this month, perhaps I can't (or don't feel it's worth it). Either way, I can still play.

MYTH: You can only get "advantages" through purchasing credits.
REALITY: Players can also, through dint of hard work, make gold through quests, bashing, or commercial endeavors and use that gold to buy credits from other players (there is a thriving credit market) and in turn acquire those same "advantages".

MYTH: Many players resent those who take the "shortcut" of purchasing credits.
REALITY: Interestingly enough, I don't see a lot of that. I suppose those players that have a real problem with this simply leave the game and I never hear from them which is fair enough. On the other hand, the game play itself is set up so one's involvement or enjoyment of the game is not limited by whether or not one has credits.

MYTH: Players can "buy" high positions in the game.
REALITY: Uh, no. I'm not sure where this came from but players who spend no credits have the same opportunity to rise in the political or social realm as those who buy credits (being that political/social positions are democratically elected by players). Strength of personality is much more important than if you happen to have a nifty sword.

MYTH: The great players will not stay, only the mediocre.
REALITY: I personally see those I consider great players who stay, some purchasing no credits, some purchasing only a few (the majority really), and some purchasing a lot. I suppose one could argue that the really great players only stay at MUDs where the "playing field is level" and thus I never see the really, truly greatest of the great, cream of the crop, top-drawer elite players. Don't know how I can possibly respond to that except to say that it's my loss, and please forgive me if I still enjoy Achaea and those who enthusiastically play there. I think I can live with that.
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Old 10-01-2003, 03:08 PM   #64
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Ya know Molly, your post is rife with insults against the player community, and I tend to take that sort of thing personally, since I'm a player.

I'm a quality player, involved in a quality game. I came from the pay-to-play world (the legitimate one, not the code-stealing one), and I take issue with your snide remarks, no matter how well-intended, in comparing twink muds to pay for play.

In GemStoneIII, you can - and do - get in-game benefits for real life money. The more you pay, the more you get. Most of the things you get have no affect on "levelling up" or advancement, and the things you can, that do, are usually just a greater opportunity to win something spiffy and uber powerful at an in-game auction. You can't attend certain auctions or merchant shops unless you're a "premium" subscriber, which costs extra. They even give you incentives to BACK-pay 6 months worth to allow you the privilege of attending these things.


GSIII caters to the masses, and they do a damned good job of it. Achaea does a great job with it as well, but the difference is, and I"ll repeat what everyone else has been trying to say here:

ANYTHING YOU AQUIRE IN ACHAEA FOR CASH CAN ALSO BE ACQUIRED FOR FREE AS LONG AS YOU HAVE THE TIME TO SPEND ACQUIRING IT.

Further, nothing that Achaea provides for cash allows a character to advance automatically, or become powerful automatically. You cannot buy a nobility title with cash. You cannot buy your way out of a fight with someone stronger than you with cash. All of that has to be done in-game, and no matter how much real life cash you sink into it, it won't mean diddly if the guy you **** off is bigger than you.

I don't even play Achaea, nor do I have any interest in it, and never did. But this railing against pay-to-play games that are working legitimately, and successfully, only contributes to furthering the gap between the community and itself.

As for the Rapture engine, I think it's awesome that the company has developed it and is offering it to whoever's willing to pay for it. Beats the heck out of code-stealers clutching open source and claiming it as their own. It also encourages other code creators and engine-owners to watch the trends, to see if this could be an option for them. Obviously people who write code are extremely possessive, and with good reason. This is merely another option, and I applaud its creators for offering it.
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Old 10-01-2003, 03:36 PM   #65
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KaVir:
Quote:
Originally Posted by
(replying to logos)
"But what I said was that there are no licensable mud engines with better commercial track records. "

Sorry - Stilton has a habit of misquoting, I should have double checked before replying.
If you'd bother to look at the thread, you'd find that your ad hominem here is, as usual, false.  I have not misquoted anyone.  The only mistake here was logos', who thought that your response to me applied to his statement, which led to your mistake in attributing the misunderstanding to me.

Please don't claim that making a more general statement than a previous poster, without stating or even implying that it was said by them, constitutes misquoting.

Edit: logos' original quote was "other available mud engines available that have proved themselves to nearly the same extent in a commerical environment". I did include the phrase "as logos noted" in my post which mentioned only some possible particulars of a commercial environment. Your later qubble with logos over successful vs MORE successful certainly has nothing to do with my post, though, and I don't understand your recurring need to flame me.

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Diku II (aka VME), created in 1995.  Genesis (aka Cold), created in 1993.  DGD (an LPC driver), created in 1993 (although the LPmud legacy that it was developed from dates back to 1989).  There are plenty of others, but those are the only three I can think of off the top of my head that predate Rapture.
Commercial license terms are also either unavailable or hard to compare to the engines/codebases you cite.  As I understand it, DIKU II for example is a codebase, while Rapture is a language and compiler/interpreter with native socket support.  DGD/LP would be an interesting comparison if you have a pointer to license terms?

Cold was the one I had foremost in my mind when I was posting.  Very nice codebase to start from for a team with a strong coder, but I don't know who's using it besides Genesis.  DIKU II- I know about it, but I didn't know if anyone was actually using it.  DGD- ok, that one I forgot about.  I'm open to correction on this point- that's why I ended my paragraph with a question about whether I was unaware of something I should be.

On the other hand, logos is correct in pointing out that success is relative and Achaea now Iron Realms seems to be doing extremely well relative to other ventures.

If I were to object to Rapture, it would probably be on technical rather than license grounds- I just don't like the language.

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regardless of development tools, it will still require a large amount of time and effort in order to produce a decent game.
Unless you're suggesting that Rapture would require more time and effort to develop content for than another engine/codebase, I'm not sure how this is relevant.

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His situation was very different.
How so?  All the differences I can think of make his success seem less likely than malaclypse's, not more.

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And I didn't claim "it'll never work", what I said was that I believe there is not the market to recover that sort of expenditure within any sort of realistic timeframe.
Then consider my comment modified to "You're claiming that his business model will not generate a positive return on investment in a reasonable period of time to a person (logos, not me) who has already made that business model work, and shows every sign of continuing to make it work."

I doubt if many of the readers here see a significant difference between these two phrasings, other than that the new one is a lot less concise.

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Old 10-01-2003, 04:07 PM   #66
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Since the majority of recent posts have been dedicated to correcting misconceptions, I'm going to assume that everyone understands the business model IRE developed.

Returning to the topic, I'd just like to say that our development process continues to speed along with Rapture. In fact, while our detractors have been busy disseminating misinformation, Persistent Realms has already coded rooms, movement, communication channels, emotes, rudimentary OLC, object code, and quality assurance systems. As you can see, we already have enough functionality for a pretty advanced talker.

Keep in mind that this was all done in our spare time, both myself and my programmer are busy people with multiple commitments, including full time day-jobs.

- Ryan
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Old 10-01-2003, 04:20 PM   #67
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To answer my own question:
(secondary sources like muddev posts)
Cold muds also include The Eternal City and holotrek.

DGD is apparently licensed by Skotos

There are a few DIKU II but they tend to be listed as VME rather than DIKU II, which is why I missed them in the past.

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Old 10-01-2003, 07:06 PM   #68
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Petty (and pointless) arguments like this one are what have pretty much destroyed any sense of community on these forums over the last year.

What used to have lots of posts now has almost nothing worthwhile but people bitching at each other, trolls for players and staff, and utter crap.

Seriously, shut the #### up already.
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Old 10-01-2003, 07:23 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Terloch @ Oct. 01 2003,18:06)
Petty (and pointless) arguments like this one are what have pretty much destroyed any sense of community on these forums over the last year.

What used to have lots of posts now has almost nothing worthwhile but people bitching at each other, trolls for players and staff, and utter crap.

Seriously, shut the #### up already.
I agree with Terloch. The fact that a simple promotional post has led to this 7-page back-and-forth shows that some folks need to think things over more.

It's fine to argue, I think. But unless you want your promotional post used as a jumping-off point for a flamewar, in my opinion we should try to keep the arguments in other forums.
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Old 10-01-2003, 08:16 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Oct. 01 2003,22:18)
What I am talking about is the quality of the Gameplay.
As a player of many muds and of Iron Realm's releases, I would have to say that the quality of gameplay in Iron Realm's releases far exceeds any other realm in which I've played in.

What disturbs me Molly is the broad strokes you're painting IR with when from what you're saying you sound as if you have never played their games. Why does IR deserve your bigotry in this?

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Old 10-01-2003, 08:30 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Terloch @ Oct. 01 2003,15:06)
Petty (and pointless) arguments like this one are what have pretty much destroyed any sense of community on these forums over the last year.

What used to have lots of posts now has almost nothing worthwhile but people bitching at each other, trolls for players and staff, and utter crap.

Seriously, shut the #### up already.
I completely agree with you. Unfortunately every time an Iron Realms game (and by extension I'm assuming my company will face the same) gets brought up, a few vocal individuals come out of the woodwork to start denouncing them.

This places us in the unenviable position of having to choose between feeding the trolls or letting their misinformation stand. Perhaps in the future we can just refer them to this thread.

- Ryan
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Old 10-01-2003, 08:38 PM   #72
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DGD/LP would be an interesting comparison if you have a pointer to license terms?
You would have to contact Skotos or Acuity for more information on this, sales@skotos.net] || sales@acuity.com

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Originally Posted by
Cold was the one I had foremost in my mind when I was posting. Very nice codebase to start from for a team with a strong coder, but I don't know who's using it besides Genesis
As you stated about Rapture, ColdC is also an interpreted language network server. There are a good amount of bases to start from and developement time would be very minimal if one chose to start from scratch.

Stilton said:
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Originally Posted by
(secondary sources like muddev posts)
Or you could have checked my previous post in this topic

ColdC - The Eternal City
DGD - Castle Marrach

Both Skotos Tech games.
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Old 10-02-2003, 02:06 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Estarra @ Oct. 01 2003,13:36)
MYTH: Players can "buy" high positions in the game.
REALITY: Uh, no. I'm not sure where this came from but players who spend no credits have the same opportunity to rise in the political or social realm as those who buy credits (being that political/social positions are democratically elected by players). Strength of personality is much more important than if you happen to have a nifty sword.
If you can buy credits with real life money. And trade credits for gold to players who don't have enough real life money. Then you can become rich. Is this not the first step to a "high position?"

After all, if you are rich IC, you can buy whatever you want. And probably bribe, and buy your way to the top of any clan/guild, all with RL money. Then again my train of thought comes from a totally roleplaying background, so I wouldn't know how Achaea or whatever other mud that does this, uses gold/credits in character.

-Delerak
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Old 10-02-2003, 02:08 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Oct. 01 2003,03:19)
I know Richard Bartle. He's served on an advisory board of a company of mine. I've had meals with him. I co-edited his book.

Richard Bartle would tell Delerak, without saying it outright, that he's an idiot without a clue. (He's much more polite than I am.)

I'm off to Vegas with some of our volunteers in a few hours so this ridiculous discussion will have to continue without me.
--matt
The fact that you only mention that now when I bring it into the discussion half-proves that you have probably never even met the guy.
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Old 10-02-2003, 02:11 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (kaylus1 @ Sep. 30 2003,20:13)
Bah. As in the note by Richard Bartle, he explains that MUD was written by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle at Essex university. So I believe it is safe to assume he had a position in the thought process as well. Let's just read the message.



Which obviously shows that Richard Bartle, 1) Had a sense of what MUD was meant to be like and 2) Had the power to change it if he didn't like it.

If he had a sense that it being commercial was not what it was supposed to be then it never would have been licensed, would it?

----------

I seriously doubt, given where it went from there that they sat there cooking up a MUD and thought: Hmm, hopefully people will someday make mud servers and disallow profits!


As to where it mentions money, it most explicitly states on the bottom that it was licensed to Compuserve, although to still your disbelief:

Quote from article by Alan Cox on Richard Bartle's web page:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
There are exceptions, most notably Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle's Essex Multi-User Dungeon. This has become a successfill commercial product in the USA, although success in this country is still limited by the lack of very cheap phone calls
Regardless, I also doubt that Roy Trubshaw had no say in the matter, so I don't believe your conclusion really has strong legs to stand on.
That means nothing.  He never intended to make money off of his creation.  That is what we were argueing.  Not whether it was sold to become a commercial product.  That means nothing.  The original creator of the mud never intended to make a dime off it, therefore it was never intended to be a commercial product.  And how much did they make?  I think they made a couple hundred or something.

-Delerak
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Old 10-02-2003, 02:33 AM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Delerak @ Oct. 02 2003,01:08)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Oct. 01 2003,03:19)
I know Richard Bartle. He's served on an advisory board of a company of mine. I've had meals with him. I co-edited his book.

Richard Bartle would tell Delerak, without saying it outright, that he's an idiot without a clue. (He's much more polite than I am.)

I'm off to Vegas with some of our volunteers in a few hours so this ridiculous discussion will have to continue without me.
--matt
The fact that you only mention that now when I bring it into the discussion half-proves that you have probably never even met the guy.
Err...I happen to have a copy of Richard Bartle's recent book on virtual world design and he does indeed credit Matt Mihaly (a.k.a. the_logos) as providing feedback and helping with the preparation of the book.

That the_logos didn't go name-dropping early in the conversation means, more than anything, that he probably didn't want to resort to name-dropping unless he had to .
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Old 10-02-2003, 02:51 AM   #77
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That still means nothing toward the uh...debate, heh.

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Old 10-02-2003, 03:34 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Delerak @ Oct. 02 2003,01<!--emo&[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img])]After all, if you are rich IC, you can buy whatever you want.  And probably bribe, and buy your way to the top of any clan/guild, all with RL money.  Then again my train of thought comes from a totally roleplaying background, so I wouldn't know how Achaea or whatever other mud that does this, uses gold/credits in character.
My, and I thought I was a cynic! Well, that is an interesting scenario you raise. From my experience in Achaea, this has never happened, but that's not to say it couldn't happen. However, politics are taken rather seriously in a roleplaying sense and running through that scenario, I can assure you that it would never happen. From a purely practical standpoint, the world has a large player base and, just looking at a guild (not a city which is larger), you are talking about "bribing" hundreds of guildmates. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that you are rich enough and motivated enough to "bribe" the players for a guildmaster position,  I can just imagine what the reaction would be.

First, you couldn't possibly keep your efforts at bribing hundreds (or even dozens) of players secret (we all know how well secrets are kept on MUDs). Some rival, somewhere, will get wind of it and begin a campaign against you, calling you out as the louse you are trying to "buy" votes. Second, the guild itself will come under scrutiny of the city it resides in (if not the entire world), and turn your election campaign into a public relations fiasco--making Arnold Schwartzenneger and his orgies look like a bake sale. This is a virtual community which reflects social organisms found in the RL--imagine what the media would say if Schwartzenneger offered $1,000 to every voter who voted for him. Yes, you'd be facing that. The guild would become a laughing stock, the city would exert pressure against you. More likely than not (and I could almost guaranty) that you'd be, at the minimum, drummed out of the guild, perhaps even your city. You'd be a pariah, an outcast, albeit a rich one.

Boy, just thinking about the roleplaying repercussions sends shivers up my spine! I hope it does happen one day so I can witness it!
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Old 10-02-2003, 03:47 AM   #79
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Oh, I should mention if one does want to be "king of the hill" in a clan, one can buy a personal clan for gold (not credits). Anecdotally, I witnessed a young player who never invested any RL money in Achaea buy a clan upon an idea he had (thus, through force of personality, convincing others to donate gold for his "cause"). Just a case on point of how roleplaying (or text charisma or whatever you want to call it) is more important than how much one spends RL dollars on a game.
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Old 10-02-2003, 04:41 AM   #80
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8-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Delerak @ Oct. 02 2003,11[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]8)]The fact that you only mention that now when I bring it into the discussion half-proves that you have probably never even met the guy.
What, because he didn't inform you of his whole life before the thread started, he's now a liar?

Puhleaze.

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That means nothing.  He never intended to make money off of his creation.  That is what we were argueing.  Not whether it was sold to become a commercial product.  That means nothing.  The original creator of the mud never intended to make a dime off it, therefore it was never intended to be a commercial product.
I'm sure Ben Franklin never intended to make a dime off electricity either.
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